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Old 09-12-11, 01:19 PM   #1
madmike
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Default Pop Can Solar Heater

Hi Guyz, I am new to the forum, I have been lurking for awhile and been find some great info. I am just about finished building my pop can solar heater for my garage. I will post pictures and details on this build, all I have left to do is mount the glazing and install the panel. I did so preliminary testing without the glazing and so far things are looking promising. Yesterday I had an inlet temp. of 15C and a 1/2 hour later my outlet temp was over 55C. This was done using a PC power supply fan,which doesn't put out near enough CFM's.

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Old 09-12-11, 01:23 PM   #2
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How large is the collector? Also, how did you cut holes in the cans?
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Old 09-12-11, 01:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
How large is the collector? Also, how did you cut holes in the cans?
Hi Doax, the outside dimensions of the box are 45"x90" and 4" deep. I have 16 rows of 15 cans for a total of 240 pop/beer cans. The actual collector area of the cans is just under 21 sq. ft. To cut the bottom of the pop/beer cans I just an 1-1/2" hole saw in my drill press and tops I used tin snips to make fins to get the air swirling up the can column. The box is made up of 1/2" plywood and 1x4 lumber for the frame of the box. I used 3/4" foil backed styrofoam to line the whole inside of box.
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Old 09-12-11, 04:03 PM   #4
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Here are a couple of pics on what I did to the cans, the top is done with tin snips.

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Here is the bottom of the cans, this is done with a 1-1/2" hole saw

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Old 09-14-11, 07:37 PM   #5
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Here is pic of my panel installed. I will have to get a bigger fan, the old PC power supply fan isn't up to the task of pushing enough air through the panel.
Now the testing begins.Click image for larger version

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Old 09-16-11, 12:58 AM   #6
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I was away for the day, I checked the temperature this morning and I was sitting at 14C (57.2F) and my wife checked the temperature at 5:30 this afternoon and the temperature had risen in the garage to 22C (71.6F). I will try running my PC fan so it sucks the air through the panel, see if it will make a difference. I have a more powerful fan come should have it next week with any luck. Any ideas are very welcome.
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Old 09-16-11, 08:36 AM   #7
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Nice job Mike!

Blowing with the fans is usually preferable. It keeps the fans cooler. I don't believe it'll make any difference performance wise. A fan can create X amount of flow at X pressure differential. Its more of a fan design issue than if its blowing/sucking.

Are you just using one 80mm fan? I'd probably go with two 120mm fans for that panel.
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Old 09-16-11, 10:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Nice job Mike!

Blowing with the fans is usually preferable. It keeps the fans cooler. I don't believe it'll make any difference performance wise. A fan can create X amount of flow at X pressure differential. Its more of a fan design issue than if its blowing/sucking.

Are you just using one 80mm fan? I'd probably go with two 120mm fans for that panel.
Doax, here is a link to the fan I have ordered from Mouser.com,

OD127AP-12HB Orion Fans Fans & Blowers

What do you think of this fan? From what I have been reading on the internet these panels should be able to use fans of up to 200 CFM's. You want to move enough air to keep the outside panel temp remains cool to touch. This way you are stripping the maximum hot air from the panel. Am I right in this theory? Thanks again for any thoughts on this.
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Old 09-16-11, 11:01 AM   #9
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Yep, you pretty much got it with the Theory. A cooler collector looses less heat energy to the outside so you get more on the inside.

The fan looks good. Its pretty pricy, but it should work. If that not enough you can always add a second one.
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Old 09-16-11, 12:33 PM   #10
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for comparison this fan looks comparable but is less then half the price Newegg.com - Scythe DFS123812-3000 "ULTRA KAZE" 120 x 38 mm Case Fan
lots and lots of the better Case fans will beat mouser's on price and be similar.

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